‘Dark Lane Demo Tapes’ feels appropriate during pandemic hiatus

Mixtape experiments with different style

Fair use from Republic Records.

Fair use from Republic Records.

Tenzin Gyaldatsang

While listening to the radio one evening, I heard rumors that Drake was going to drop a mixtape at midnight. Sure enough, on May 1, “Dark Lane Demo Tapes” was available for me to listen to.

Contrary to Drake’s usual style, “Dark Lane Demo Tapes” has a more gloomy, and sad feeling. Even with the single “Toosie Slide” and the viral dance challenge that has taken TikTok by storm, the album still leaves a melancholy impression.

Many of the tracks have lyrics that don’t seem to have a deep meaning, and the lyrics are used just to match the beat. Even though the lyrics aren’t as complex, when combined with the beat and tempo, the sad feeling is conveyed well.

Artist Playboi Carti, known for his 2017 hit single “Magnolia,” is featured in the track “Pain 1993.” Even though the rhythm is spot on, Carti’s verse doesn’t mix well with the beat and tempo.

Although the mixtape isn’t as upbeat and catchy as other mixtapes, it’s still appropriate in our current situation. Most of the tracks are centered around self-reflection and growth, which is needed in times like these.

More specifically,“Not You Too” and “Chicago Freestyle” have a smooth, polished tune that make them relaxing to listen to and have a good beat and rhythm.

Drake did a wonderful job at keeping the beat consistent for each track, which bolstered the mixtape, but overshadowed the inadequate lyrics.

“Dark Lane Demo Tapes” proves to be a fitting mixtape for this time of uncertainty. The tracks emphasize the introspection that is occurring in many of us. I’m looking forward to Drake’s sixth studio album, which will be released this summer.

★★★☆☆ – “Dark Lane Demo Tapes”